The future of Universal's Dark Universe has suffered yet another setback today, as it lost the man who had been tapped to write the adaptation of The Invisible Man.
According to Digital Spy, screenwriter Ed Solomon (Now You See Me, Men in Black) has departed the project, saying that he is "no longer working on" the film, which was (and still is, presumably) set to star Johnny Depp in the title role. "At the end of the day, I think Universal and I had a different idea of what the movie was gonna be," said Solomon. "We began thinking that our notions would meld, and I should've listened more closely to what they really were wanting."
This is another blow to Universal's attempt to build a shared cinematic universe populated by their classic monsters, including the Mummy, the Creature From the Black Lagoon, the Invisible Man, and the Bride of Frankenstein.
The first film set in this so-called Dark Universe was last year's reboot of The Mummy. While it did well overseas, the movie failed to gain an audience domestically. Its failure led to Bride of Frankenstein being pulled from the release schedule, as well as series overseers/producers Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan departing completely. Universal had initially approached Guillermo del Toro to take the reins, but when he declined the project seemed to lose some of its direction. Today's news about The Invisible Man only adds to that feeling.
While speaking to Digital Spy, Solomon described how the entire idea of the Dark Universe is now being reconsidered, saying, "I think Universal has had to come to a kind of reckoning of 'What are we doing with the Dark Universe?' and 'What is our real intention with it?', and I think they're reconfiguring it now, which I think is probably good."
While this latest setback might not look too great, it's a positive thing that Universal is exploring their true intentions. Shared cinematic universes don't grow on trees, and without everyone involved being on the same page, firm plans can become, well, invisible. Perhaps a clean slate of artists is a good way to proceed. What do you think?
(via Digital Spy)